Obviously, the long standby will work: newspaper. However, a bedding proves much more suitable. From a time-management standpoint, the enclosures can be quickly "spot" cleaned several times before a full substrate change must be made. For large collections especially, this significantly reduces maintainence time. Experience has demonstrated Aspen Bed I to be the best bedding product on the market. Aspen Bed I appears as a finely shredded aspen product. Sani-Chips follows a close second; the chips can best be described as 1/8" squares or flakes of hardwood. Both have minimal detrimental effects on kingsnakes as compared to pine or cedar shavings. Neither contain the dust found in other beddings; if accidently ingested, the non-toxicity and small size of the wood particles make them easily passable. In regards to Sani Chips: it should not be used when housing hatchlings. The chips acts as desiccants, often dehydrating the little snakes and complicating ecdysis. Feeding and breeding on Sani-Chips also present problems: the chips will coat any prey items placed in the enclosure, and they have been known to damage the everted hemipenes of male snakes during copulation. A few specially laminated, textured paper substrates have appeared on the market. They have many advantages, but for the price, they don't compare to the aforementioned beddings.

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